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Queensland worms, flies and lice update - May 2017

Brisbane: Maxine Murphy, Veterinary Parasitologist (maxine@paraboss.com.au)

Many regions received significant rain this year and where daily maximum temperatures are still above 20°C, worm burdens may be elevated. Young sheep, in particular, may be carrying significant worm burdens, but in contrast, ewes recovering their immunity after weaning may quickly throw off these burdens.

In late May and again in early July, WormTest stock to ensure worm burdens do not hinder production as feed quality falls during the winter months. Screen a number of mobs as not all mobs are equal in terms of resisting worm infections or having access to quality feed to build immunity or low worm pastures etc.

Continue with grazing strategies over the next 3–4 months to develop low worm pastures for spring lambing by providing enough time for most eggs and infective larvae on pastures to die from a combination of old age and adverse weather conditions. Any type of stock can be grazed in the next 2–3 months on pastures where the mean daily maximum temperatures remain consistently below 18°C such as on the Granite Belt during June /July/August  if indeed the maximum temperatures fall down to the long term averages this year. In other regions, where mean maximum temperatures are mostly above 18°C, paddocks can be spelled, grazed with cattle, or grazed with sheep in the period up to 21 days after an effective drench, preferably a short acting drench. If you do not have information about drench effectiveness on your property then use one of the newer drenches (Startect®; Zolvix Plus™; Napfix®) now available in multi-active formulations.